Bonum Certa Men Certa

Jokers, Aggressive Trolls or Thugs Who Break Laws?

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Feb 08, 2024

Online discourse has gotten uglier. We know what people do this. They don't typically show their cards.

Poker hand

THE limitation or downside of IRC - both here and elsewhere - probably remains that it is hard to classify people except by their chosen usernames, which are not strictly enforced. Some Web sites and networks/protocols have means of classification if not moderation.

After we wrote about SoylentNews for its TLS hardships someone pointed out we had mistakenly quoted and thus gave visibility to a very malicious troll about three days ago. As it turns out, they have their own vandals in their IRC network and someone in #governance said they could also "set all the chans [channels] to +r" (to prevent unwanted interruption of meetings or of otherwise fruitful discussions). The same someone told me that this troll "never gets tired and moves on though; he's been with us for years and years..."

The troll hasn't even made his intentions unknown. Hours ago he said: "Matt and NCommander, they have failed.? Time to just shut the site down."

So it's not even a secret that the sole goal is horrible; the mask came off, and moreover the real goal is to kill the site; we too experienced issues with those types of trolls in #techrights and other channels of this site - the solutions to such trolls do exist, but it drains time and distract from the main, productive activities. Maybe that's exactly the trolls' goal.

"That much has been known about [the above troll] and a few others," someone told me, "for a long while."

"However, the site operators have been a little naive in dealing with them. Again, there is that difficult path leading inevitably down to general moderation which is to be avoided at all costs but having a policy, any policy, can be gamed and not having a policy causes immediate strife. The trolls settle for DoS on key individuals if nothing else. Remember "marbux" continually trolling Daniel Carrera in the ODF lists? Same approach. Send a troll in to foul the 10x player and remove him from the game or at least trip him up and burn him out."

These sorts of tactics are apparently prevalent and sometimes tied to large corporations. They talk about stuff like "DEI" while siccing racist trolls who commit actual crimes.

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